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Coffee company's former bookkeeper pleads guilty to thefts

A former Mellelo's Coffee Roasters bookkeeper has pleaded guilty to felony theft charges after embezzling more than $10,000 from the company.

Ronda Susan Bennett, 48, was sentenced to 40 days in the Jackson County Jail and two years of supervised probation for the crime.

Mellelo's officials became aware of the missing money in late 2010 when a third-party audit turned up discrepancies in the company's books, Medford police said.

Medford financial detectives working with the auditor turned up a pattern of theft that reportedly began in 2008. Police said the thefts included the taking of cash and doctoring books to hide losses.

Bennett pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one county of aggravated theft and three counts of first-degree theft.

Aggravated theft is charged when a suspect steals at least $10,000. First-degree theft involves crimes in which at least $1,000 is stolen.

— Chris Conrad